What do we stand for, how do we symbolise it, and how do we summarise it in promotional text? Agonising over your identity is a constant concern as you nurse along a charity. And yes, we’re talking of BANC and ECOS. In the next article Gavin Saunders explains these sorts of nagging thoughts, but hopefully some quiet confidence here at BANC and ECOS. At a time of change, and going fully fledged onto the web, all these matters of profile and relevance come to the fore.
Gavin concludes that the catalyst role, and embracing awkward, often under-represented but deserving issues, and stretching our comfort zones, is still the core thrust of BANC. Rewilding is an example of the catalyst function. BANC and ECOS helped nurture rewilding ideas and put them on the map. Now, many in the conservation world are assessing rewilding’s likely impacts, like a grenade fizzling before them. We remain a gatekeeper of this debate on rewilding, as witnessed in several pieces in this issue. ‘Challenging Conservation’ still seems a valid strapline for BANC, for now.
We worry over our logo too – the Celtic knot thingy. Each time it heads for the chop, a faction rises to save it. When we last took soundings, younger members gave it a big thumb’s up. We assumed it wasn’t slick or clear enough, but many members respond to its elemental qualities. People make their own response to the interweaving properties of a Celtic knot. Some see connectedness, while others link the infinity symbol to the timelessness of nature. Infinity is the core meaning of the knot. That might be apt, as conservation is a process, not an end game. BANC’s founders meant the knot to suggest a never-ending challenge, a constant commitment to help and defend nature.
How fitting that we host one of BANC’s founders in this issue: Chris Rose takes aim at BBC’s love affair with Attenborough. Amidst BBC’s vivid celebration of the natural world, Chris reminds us that the conservation message is often pretty flaky, and a poor second to the goal of entertainment. No one is expecting the BBC to become a conservation lobby, but it could show some responsibility. The jewels of wildlife which it brings to our homes are fast dwindling fragments of nature’s wild places. Chris Rose calls for more BBC creativity to illustrate nature’s stress, our place in that, and how we might help.
Ok, enough of this soul searching. Welcome to the new web form of ECOS. We hope it works for you. ‘Critical debate’ has been one of our slogans. Maybe more of it is about to happen…